Cricket - Ramprakash: MBE pinnacle of my career

Former England batsman Mark Ramprakash described his MBE as more significant than his 100 first-class centuries after receiving the award in the New Year Honours.

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Cricket - Ramprakash: MBE pinnacle of my career
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Mark Ramprakash retired after a 25-year cricket career in July

Ramprakash called time on his 25-year career at the age of 42 in July with a host of records to his name.

None were more indicative of his vast talent than joining a select band of players, including legendary names such as WG Grace, Sir Donald Bradman and Geoff Boycott, to have scored 100 centuries in first-class ranks.

"I think this MBE eclipses all that I have achieved in the game," he told Press Association Sport. "It came straight out of the blue. I think for most players representing your country is the biggest moment in your life.

"When you experience winning Test matches, there is little other feeling that comes close to that."

In total Ramprakash passed three figures on 114 occasions, leaving him level with West Indies great Viv Richards, and left the game with a remarkable 35,659 first-class runs at an average of 53.14.

While he struggled to replicate those numbers in 52 Tests for England, marking him as one of the most unfulfilled talents of a generation, he stood out as the best batsman in county ranks long after his final Test in 2002.

Ramprakash was named the 2007 Wisden Cricketer of the Year after becoming the first batsman ever to average more than 100 in consecutive County seasons with Surrey, while there was a clamour for his return to the England fold for the 2009 Ashes as his career continued to blossom beyond the retirements of his contemporaries.

"I have been lucky to play for so long and achieve things throughout my career like the 100 first-class centuries," he added.

"But this is an acknowledgment of your entire career. I have been committed to cricket for 25 years. To have that acknowledgement from someone outside of what you did is an immensely proud moment."

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